In the Light of What We Know

inthelightofwhatIn the Light of What We Know
by Zia Haider Rahman
2014/ 499 pages
rating 9 / contemp lit

In the Light of What We Know” is a book about ideas (think Gödel and the title), mathematics, philosophy, perception, psychological and sociological, and very importantly, social class, mobility. etc. on through 9/11 and beyond. It’s a very ambitious book and it’s somewhat confusing in places but the ambiance, the tone, the style, is so incredible it works smoothly in spite of what could easily have become choppy.

What is this book about? Eeks! Well, on the surface, it’s about two old friends from Oxford student days, the unnamed rich protagonist from Pakistani from Princeton, and Zafar, a poor scholarship student from Bangladesh (was East Pakistan) who are reunited after many years. They first met as math students. Now they are both highly educated, well-off and probably in their mid 40s. Zafar has simply shown up on the doorstep of the protagonist after apparently dropping out of sight for awhile – a long while. Class difference, the haves vs the have-nots, is one of the major themes in the book, maybe the main interwoven theme – although reality vs perception is close – along with Gödel’s “theorem of incompleteness.”  >>>>MORE>>>>

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